We set out not really knowing what to expect. Our goal was to clear a good chunk of the Bear Creek and Winter Rim sections of the Fremont National Recreation Trail. We had heard reports of "pick up sticks", "log piles", "completely overgrown", and "impossible to find." All proved to be correct.
Nonetheless, twenty volunteers came from all over the state and Klamath Trails Alliance showed up with their tool library to try and reopen this historic trail that had been impassable for over 10 years. We were camped on the beautiful Chewaucan River, well fed and lubricated by Base Camp Brewing, Stumptown Coffee, Bobs Red Mill, Nuun, and Velo Cult. From camp it was a meandering drive on narrow dirt roads through large forest meadows to the rim. The Winter Rim is a stunning viewpoint, worthy of a trip itself. We split into efficient crews of sawyers and swampers, each tackling a different section of the forgotten trail. We had many fresh faces with zero trail experience, some newly-certified chainsaw operators from our March sawyer class, and even one of the legendary Scorpions who's been felling trees in Oregon for over 50 years.
Ultimately we achieved our goal after 3 long days of labor—27 miles of trail lay open and clear to ride. It's still a rugged, backcountry trail experience, and wayfinding can be tricky at times, but this trail will only improve now that people can pedal, hike, or horseback ride all the way from the Chewaucan River to Fremont Point.
A huge thank you to all the folks who joined us for our first—and most challenging—Stewardship Campout. The OTTA would also like to extend a special thank you to Alan Grubb, the Natural Resources Specialist for the Fremont-Winema National Forest who made sure we safely operated chainsaws in the woods and were well equipped to have a successful stewardship event.
We hope to see you all next week at our Willamette Tier Campout on the infamous Bunchgrass Ridge!
If you're headed to Winter Rim to ride, we suggest shuttling to Currier Spring via Government Harvey Pass (NF29) and ride the 17 mile segment below, it's a good mix of technical rim riding, lush meadows, and exhilarating descents. And the Paisley Tavern and Summer Lake Hot Springs make for an excellent post-ride treat.